Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Saving and Splurging


I got these through the post the week before last, usually they would have been put into my purse and stayed in there briefly, tempting me to go to Tesco to stock up on things we perhaps didn't really need.  Not this time.  At the moment we are busy stockpiling, coupons, vouchers and Nectar points ready for next year ... because we've decided on our Challenge!!

We're doing 'A Year Without ....', a few of you might have noticed a new blog appear on my list of blogs, there's nothing to read over there yet, but I wanted to secure the name before someone else snaffled it.  We are planning a real push into paying off the mortgage and have decided a whole year of minimal spending will be the best way to do this and will also allow us to have a trial of living on a limited income, which of course we will be doing for good once Lovely Hubby gives up the day job.

It will hopefully, also be a way for us to see what our strengths and successes are, as well as seeing what else we need to do to get ourselves as self sufficient as possible for the years ahead.

I'm hoping to run the blog alongside this one and along the lines of last years additional blog which was '365 Days - £365'.  This link takes you right back to the start of that challenge and it's been where I started reading from over the last few days, trying to garner a bit of inspiration for next year.


One thing I most definitely will not be doing next year is spending .....


... £9.99 on a jar of pickles.

I couldn't resist these when I was out with Mum last week, and at first I thought I had really spent over the odds, but out shopping over the weekend I spied a less than half sized jar for £4  so not too bad really.  My main reason for buying them, apart from the fact that we love giant 'chip shop style' pickles, is that I will be able to use the jar over and over again in the future and pickle some our own larger onions.  

So not so much a splurge as an investment in our future ...
... well that's my excuse anyway and I'm sticking to it  ;-)


Sue xx

22 comments:

  1. The slogan "Every little helps" refers to the supermarket's profit, not your saving!

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  2. I have always made my own pickled onions. At the grocery retailers in Abergwili, a sack of pickling onions costs me £4 (I think there's about 4 kg in it), the spiced vinegar to go with them (although I often spice malt vinegar myself at home) is £2 (2 litres - can't recall offhand), and you can buy a gigantic Kilner jar for £3.99. I like to vary how hot the spiced vinegar is, and if you like them fiery, leave some dried chillis/pickling mix in the jar. I also find the good-sized jars from Lidl which have cherries in (my OH loves these) make good pickle jars too.

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    1. I priced up a similar sized kilner jar and it was £5.99. Come next year I will have homegrown onions and already have this and a couple of other large jars (which are full of apple sauce this year), so I will only have to buy the vinegar. So negligible cost in future.

      I'll have to look out for other produce we eat that comes in large jars, unfortunately I don't like cherries :-(

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    2. The spiced vinegar usually comes in massive jars :)

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  3. looks like you'll be doing a lot more canning & preserving over the next year?
    good luck with your savings & minimal spending & getting your mortgage down
    scoring good preserve jars is always a good spend :))
    thanx for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Yep, we'll have to see how much of the current stash we get through in the year ahead and then re-fill jars as soon as they come empty with things for the following year.

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  4. Sue - do you have a Charlies in your area (they only have stores within Wales so chance you might have). That's where I saw the good prices on Kilner jars.

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    1. Bovey Belle, you beat me to it, I was just going to suggest that Sue tried Charlies!
      There's one in Queensferry, which is about 35 minutes from us and I think it's Sue's closest too!

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    2. Yes, I've just had a look, the one in Queensferry is the nearest one to me, about an hours drive away. But rather than travel there for a couple of kilner jars it makes more sense to gather my jars when I'm actually out and about and spot them.

      I do have a huge selection of kilner jars already though, as you will have noticed on pictures of my shelves in the past, and this large pickle jar plugs the gap nicely size wise as one I didn't have.

      Charlies does look like a good store though, thanks for the heads up, I'll definitely have a look around if I'm in that area. Seemingly there is also one in Aberystwyth which we will be passing by when we go for a weekend away already booked for next April so I could have a mooch about then :-)

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  5. The nearest Tesco is 20 miles away so I use them infrequently so I was surprised to get £1 from them. It will go towards something. We are 11 months into our experimental year of living on far less. I have restricted my budget to that of my private pension which I will receive in October 2016. Although we will have access to other funds it is satisfying to know we could do it just on my pension. That means we can still enjoy holidays, trips to the cinema etc. You are established growers and chicken keepers which will help tremendously. This is our first year of growing vegetables other than toms and peppers. I've loved it despite some set backs. I'm looking forward to your tips and advice for next year.

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    1. You raise a really good point there. Lovely Hubby already gets a pension each month, we could perhaps see how much this covers of all our other expenditure over the next year while we're doing the 'Without' challenge.

      You've got me thinking now .... dangerous ... stand well back ;-)

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  6. I spent a lot on jars this year but have noticed that they're quite a lot cheaper at the moment. I've just tried some shallots I pickled when they were surplus to a stew recipe and my God they knock your socks off!! We've managed to live on much less for a year dropping from 2 incomes to one. I have a small monthly occupational pension which goes towards our living costs. It can be done!

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  7. Sounds like a great plan Sue I will enjoy following your new blog and the hearing about the changes, dee

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  8. I really must cut back as retirement is so tempting. In half an hour i have my appointment with pension adviser. I might change my mind afterwards. I definetly need tips on eating for less although I think it's not the food side of housekeeping but other things like cleaning products that set me back.

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  9. I'll be following your new blog with great interest I'm determined to cut our spending next year after this mega expensive year. And I also love being able to reuse jars just waiting for a couple of shelves in my kitchen to display them😉

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  10. Yay! Another inspirational challenge for me to follow. I do love gathering ideas from blog World! We lost one third of our income when I stopped work, but have managed perfectly well AND paid off the mortgage so it can be done. Best of luck :)

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  11. Best of luck, I'd so never manange it, much as I'd like to

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  12. dangerous ground Sue, I caught the pickle, chutney and jam bug as a child and have "suffered" with it ever since. I hoard jars of all sizes, I have a friend who buys jars of large pickled gherkins from Lidl, the jars are perfect for larger onions and eggs. I do make jars of sliced onion as well, fast cheese and onion sandwiches with no tears.

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  13. I think debt reduction is one of the most important things we can do. It's life-changing. I wish you all the best with the challenge and I look forward to reading about how you do it. Good luck Sue!

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  14. Looking forward to your new challenge. I'm still reading the 365 days - 365 pounds blogs over and over again, so inspiring and I get new ideas every time!

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